You've met Erika before. Enjoy!

XXXX

People could be such morons sometimes. Even the ones that prided themselves on being logical -- No, scratch that, especially the ones who prided themselves on being logical. I prided myself on being as fucking irrational and illogical -- and a bunch of other ir and il and un words -- as I possibly could be. And damn did I have a ton of fun with it. But as I got older -- I know, right, gray hairs and all -- Haha, just those I gave to other people.

Anyways. I was getting sick of being told to be less childish and people not sticking around because of it. I wasn't trying to chase them off or anything, but I was only willing to change myself so much before I just had to stop. What was the saying, "You shouldn't have to change yourself for the one you love"? Something like that. I was sure it was complete bullshit. So I was willing to change a little. But...not as much as people seemed to need me to.

I'd been dumped earlier that day. I knew it was going to happen. The guy was a waste of time. I liked him 'cos I knew it wouldn't last. Yeah. Despite not liking having someone, I'm scared shitless of commitment. Yeah. Ironic.

I've been told that's the reason my relationships never work. Because I don't want them to so I pick guys who are bound to leave me. And honestly, at this point I'm pretty sure I was doing that. But at the beginning I wasn't. and that was a bad idea because I got hurt and then -- You don't want my history, what's the point?

Anyways, as I'd been saying before I so rudely interrupted myself, I'd been dumped earlier that day. So I'd gone out to party. I wasn't a girl who sat around and wept about guys. If I'd actually liked the guy and was hurt and all then I went out and got completely smashed and stumbled home. If I didn't care much for the ass then I went out and partied it up and had fun.

So that's what I was doing. I'd gone though at least six dance partners so far. I'd only been drinking lightly -- I didn't want to get dehydrated dancing, that was no fun. My current partner was starting to tire. He tried to get me to go to the bar with him. I ignored his requests and he eventually wandered off. I wasn't actually looking for someone to sleep with -- hell, if I was I could make a booty call and be with someone I actually liked in one way or another. Hell. The likelihood of someone I knew being in that bar was pretty high already.

It took a few moments for someone else to come dance with me. Word was probably spreading that no, the girl dancing with anyone, wouldn't go home with anyone. I'd expected such a lull, and I really couldn't care less. As already stated, I was there to dance, not go home with anyone.

As soon as the hands settled on my hips I was positive this was one of those friends I was thinking about earlier. The guy was just uber familiar. He was dancing like he knew me. And know, I don't mean grabby and shit, there's just a different dance style if it's with someone you know and are comfortable with versus random person on the dance floor. And while I never really cared if I was dancing with someone I didn't know, I have to admit I relaxed a lot now that it was someone I knew. Felt comfortable actually closing my eyes and just loosing myself to the music -- which was my favorite way to dance.

And no, I didn't know who exactly it was, I just knew I knew them. I had too. So you can imagine my surprise when my dance partner tried to tell me something -- it was too loud I couldn't hear him over the music -- and I turned around to read his lips and realized I had no idea who he was. That had never happened to me before. I think he saw my shocked expression and probably figured I had misunderstood what he'd said, so he grabbed on to my elbow and guided me off the dance floor and off to the side where it was a bit quieter. I was too damn shocked to resist.

Once we got there he opened his mouth to probably repeat what he's said previously, and I just burst out with "I don't know you!"

His eyebrow shot up and then he was smirking at me, "Huh. Weird. I don't know you either."

I couldn't help it, I laughed. I also couldn't help but give him a quick once over. And can I just say this: He was hot.

He was taller then me. Which, lets face it, not that big of a shock. He was dressed a bit more preppy then I'd usually bother to talk to honestly -- not that none of my other friends didn't dress similarly, but I make snap decisions and unless someone decides to prove they're not their cover, I'm just going to assume they are. He had pretty eyes -- I was a sucker for eyes. Eyes, hands and mouths especially. Not necessarily in that order. And he was getting points for all of them. They were brown, and, I don't know, am I supposed to mention something deep like the 'window to the soul'? Eh, fuck that. They were pretty. He had nice hands and I liked his mouth. What else is important? Oh right, his hair. Brown, darker then his eyes and it looked like it might actually know what a comb was -- unlike Zev's hair which was scared shitless of the things. Actually everything about him was on the brown side. Hair, eyes, tan -- hell, even his shirt was a dark brownish color with some A&F add on it or something.

He was hot.

But that didn't change the fact that I didn't know him.

And I certainly wouldn't have danced like that with him if I didn't know him. Which wasn't to say I'd been more 'risqué' (slutty if you prefer) then I normally am -- Hell, I was probably less since I thought he was someone I knew. Yeah. Don't try to follow that logic, it'll just screw you up.

Anyways. We were just standing there. Me with no idea what to say or do -- other then just dragging him back to the dance floor, him just watching me with this half grin thing that -- yeah, never mind. So we were just standing there and I was about to probably say something that would horrify the dear and scare him away and so such, when Donovan from (Insert Name) wandered over to us. I'd had a, well, I guess you would call it a fling, with Don a long ass time ago. Actually I was pretty sure I'd had a fling with everyone in the band at this point. I'd have to suggest to Ridley they get some new blood so I could have some more fun. Not that he'd take me seriously, but whatever.

So Don comes up to us, and he is completely and utterly gone. My best bet is that someone challenged him to a drinking contest after he'd already indulged. Or some girl had fucked him up again. Moron. So he wandered over and throws an arm around me and he reeks of booze, and I'm just amused and considering all the things I can get away doing to him in this state -- Like making him do the funky chicken. And he grins at me, "Eri!" then he jerks around for some reason only he knows, sees the guy I'm with and exclaims in the exact same tone of voice. "Eli!"

Well. I guess that means he's not as much of a stranger as I thought he was.

We didn't get a chance to talk more though. Don had decided I was his teddy bear and wasn't letting go. So I just threw 'Eli' a wink, thanked him for the dance and dragged Don's ass out of there.

Yeah. That was the first time I met Eli.

...What do you mean that's not how I started this? You want me to come full circle and shit like that? Fine. When I was talking about people being morons I meant in terms of relationships and not seeing what's right in front of their faces and shit like that. And -- Actually, you know what. I'm not wrapping this up. You all can just deal with hanging edges or whatever, and we'll get back to this later. Okay cupcake?

XXXX

You know one of the things that the majority of people can't stand that I think is funny as hell? Well, okay, I think most things are funny as hell. But the fact that people hate sitting alone in theaters or going to the movies alone at all really.

Which was exactly what I was doing. Though I actually hadn't come to the theater alone. Not that I'd never done that before. Hell, coming to the theater alone was one of those amazing things. Because you could always find someone to hassle. But I actually wasn't alone. Though the group I was with had bribed me to leave with sour patch kids. And who could say no to sour patch kids. One of them would probably start feeling bad in a few minutes and would come down to watch the movie with me there -- I didn't care if they did or didn't. I'd be yelling things up to them regardless.

So there I was, chilling out and eating sour patch kids when someone sat next to me. I was being amused by the adds that the company ran before they showed previews, so I didn't bother to look to see which one of them had come down to keep me company, instead I just held out the box of sour patch kids in an offer. The box was taken then handed back.

Then I was surprised.

"I was always told to never take candy from strangers by my mom. Never did listen to her though."

Needless to say it wasn't one of my friends.

I turned my head just to see the mysterious "Eli" eye a few of the little sour men before tossing them back. Responding didn't take any thought -- as shocked as I was to see him there. "You calling me strange?" My tone was mock hurt -- which was what I was going for anyways.

But he didn't even bat an eyelash before responding, "Strange, yeah. And hot."

I honestly wasn't sure what to say to that, so I just laughed. I was far from offended, but I wasn't taking him very seriously either. But then, I suppose I don't take much very seriously. Which is why the next few moments were so damn amusing to me.

See, Michael, one of the guys who was with the group I'd come in with, and a guy who I'd had a bit of a crush on for a while before he blew me off, came down to sit with us. And without trying to be subtle he threw an arm around my shoulders -- something he hadn't been inclined to do when I was interested in him, the moron. And then he started asking "Eli" questions. Like who he was, how he knew "Our Eri-Bear" and so on. I have to thank him for one thing I guess, I finally learned what "Eli"s name was.

Elijah.

And that was good to know. But then Elijah started making up some bullshit story bout how we met and it was hilarious so I just started laughing and Elijah chuckled with me and Michael was confused as hell. Then Elijah turned to him and asked Michael who he was and why the hell he was interrupting our date.

And though I'd just stopped laughing, I started laughing again at that. Michael looked dumbstruck and just blurted out, "No you're not--You're not on a date." But he also removed his arm from my shoulders seemingly by instinct.

Elijah just smirked at him, "Why the hell are you still here?" Michael looked to me, probably expecting me to refute it or to tell him to stay or something, but I was busy calming myself down and once I was calmish I just turned to Elijah, "You're horrible." And he just smirked back and shrugged.

I liked him.

Michael left after a moment and I just offered Elijah more candy. I might've said something else but then the movie started and I was too busy making fun of the people on screen and making Elijah laugh to bother with much. He had some good quips himself and I could tell it was a good day for me because everyone near us got up and moved to a different part of the theater.

When the movie ended I dragged Elijah back to the group I'd come with. I wasn't that surprised that Ridley knew him. Since Don knew him it was probably just another group of people I'd never met that he usually hung out with. So they were catching up when Tayce cornered me to interrogate me as to when I had started dating him and so on and so forth. I just answered that it had been about two hours ago, and did she think I needed to get him a gift for our two year anniversary? Needless to say Tayce rolled her eyes and dropped it -- though she did throw in a dry comment about him being hot, which, as I'm sure you know, I agreed with.

Anyways, the lot of us hung around for a while, then Don got a call about a party and we decided to head for it. I had to bum a ride since I'd walked to the theater. And somehow I ended up pretty much sitting on Elijah in the back of a two door Trans Am into which four people had been shoved. He was bumming a ride too.

Nicole went over a bump too quickly and my head hit the roof off the car. Elijah chuckled lightly but then basically pulled me down to curl up entirely on him and he put a hand in my hair to make sure I didn't bang against anything. Hell. If I'd known he would've done that I would've hit my head a hell of a lot sooner.

Anyways. I'll skip some of the grisly details. Basically we flirted the entire way to the party and at the party until someone asked me to dance. And you have to understand, I never refuse a request to dance. So I went. And danced. And switched partners. Then lost my partner. Then felt that oh so familiar grip -- checked to make sure it was Elijah -- and then just continued to dance.

Eventually the liquor and the fact that I'd been up close to twenty-six hours started to get to me and I wandered off the dance floor to find a couch to collapse on. Elijah followed and I ended up collapsing on him on a couch and passing out.

I'm pretty sure it was Tayce who made sure I got home. She's had practice doing that. Not sure who carried me, because as small -- shut the hell up -- as I am, I tend to be solid dead weight when I'm passed out, and she can't cary that. I kind of assumed it was Ridley or Don or someone -- but I think I was hoping it was Elijah.

I didn't see him for the next few weeks after that. And I might have been thinking about him just a little in that time period. But as much as I wanted to see him, I could've dealt without how I saw him.

I know I really didn't know much about him and I shouldn't have assumed anything, but, well, I did. I assumed he was interested and I assumed he was unattached -- So when I ran into him making out with a girl at a party I was just a little put out. I had no right to be, I know, but that didn't change anything. So I didn't greet him -- didn't want to interrupt the tonsil hockey. Instead I just hightailed it from that room and into a different one. I'd originally planned to actually party that night but...With everything else a quiet night of drinking was sounding more and more attractive.

So that's what I did, or tried to anyways. I found a room with a few people I knew. And I curled up with Dominic and had a few drinks. And I'd only been in there for about an hour -- I think it was about an hour, when Elijah stumbled in, sans girl.

I was feeling like I could turn into a weepy drunk at any point, so instead of trying to talk to him I just buried my head in Dominic's chest. I mean, I had no right to be upset at all. Not really.

Dominic figured that I was a little upset, though he wasn't sure quite why since I'd been surprisingly quiet since I'd collapsed in his lap, so he tugged me closer and squeezed my ass. From Dominic that's a comforting gesture, and it didn't mean a thing. I mean, he's madly in love with his boyfriend.

But apparently Elijah hadn't gotten that memo because a moment after Dominic had a hold of my ass, I was on the floor and Elijah was punching Dominic and then Dominic was punching Elijah back because he was drunk and had just been attacked, and then I was standing staring down at them and throwing bottles at them and telling them to stop. They didn't. But the ruckus brought a group and two big guys who tore the two apart. And Dominic's boyfriend was there, helping Dominic to a seat and Elijah was staring at me.

I stormed out.

I could not deal with any of this. He wasn't anything to me. We hadn't done anything. And where the hell did he get off attacking one of my friends?

Fuck him!

Yeah!

I'd deck him next time I saw him. Even if I had to get a chair to do it!

"Are you alright?"

And my mind shut down midrant. It was Elijah. Why was he -- turning on my heel I gaped at him for a moment. He looked like hell, and he was asking me if I was alright.

"What? Of course I am!" I wasn't the one who had just been in a fist fight. Moron.

"Oh. Good."

What. The. Fuck. I didn't even know what to do with that. So I just stared at him. I really couldn't deal with this. I needed a cig, and I needed one bad. So on my heel I turned again and walked away. I was hoping he'd stay where he was, but of course he followed me.

Pushing my way past the milling masses around the doors I found my way to the patio and pulled out a cigarette.

He was beside me a moment later, lightly touching his split lip. "You going to thank me?"

Huh? "For what?"

"You did not look happy to be with that fucker and he was groping you. For that."

I had no idea what to say to that. So I just gaped at him for another moment before throwing my hands up in the air and starting up a rant. "I was just fine there! I wasn't happy to see you since I already saw you with someone else's tongue in your mouth, and that's fine, I shouldn't care anyways, why the hell should I? But you shouldn't care either so why the fuck did you lay my friend -- yes my friend -- out? Do you even care how long it's going to take for his boyfriend to talk him into --"

I've found in life that it's hard to talk with someone else's tongue in one's mouth, and I was relearning that lesson. But I was angry. So as much as I did want to kiss him -- shut up, I have issues and I fucking know it, fuck you -- I still pushed him away. Not that he went far at all.

And now he was smiling at me. Why was he smiling at me?

"You saw me kissing someone else and you were jealous."

I just glared.

"Was she skinny, blond, fake tits?"

I continued to glare.

"She jumped me and shoved her tongue down my throat, I got her off pretty quickly 'cos she just wasn't what I wanted and gave her back to her friends."

...Well shit. That...Screw him. I was still mad he'd hit Dominic.

I continued to glare.

And he just laughed at me, "Come on Erika, you thought I was cheating on you, I thought you were being threatened."

So?

...Wait, hold up, stop everything -- Cheating on me? He couldn't be -- we weren't...

"You can't cheat on me." I don't even care that that didn't make sense. It made sense to me. If we weren't dating he couldn't be cheating on me. Not that we'd be going out long if he'd cheated on me, or considered it or anything -- but that wasn't the point. The point was he couldn't cheat on me.

And he seemed to be ignoring what I was spluttering at him. Damn him.

"You going to pull back if I kiss you again?"

What kind of question was that? "What? Yes!" I couldn't kiss him, he was drunk (never stopped me before), he'd already made out with a dumb bitch (that was like encouragement), we hadn't spoken in over a week (...so?), ...He'd punched Dominic! Yeah.

Wait. Why were his hands on my hips? Why was he grinning at me like that? Why was he kissing me? Why wasn't I pulling back? Why was I kissing back?

Mmm. He was good. You know what. Screw it. I'd buy Dominic flowers or something. I had a boy who could dance and kiss. Couldn't exactly turn that away.